A judge recently denied a request for a bond reduction for a former Delaware County woman, previously convicted of killing her husband, who is going to be retried.
Revette A. Sauser, 52, is again charged with first- degree murder for Terry Sauser’s 2011 shooting death, and her bond remains at $1 million.
Revette Sauser previously was sentenced to 40 years in prison after, as part of a plea deal, she pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, second- degree kidnapping and going armed with intent.
Her original charge of first-degree murder was dismissed. A conviction on that charge carries an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole.
Authorities said she shot Terry Sauser in the chest at their home on April 3, 2011. After shooting him, she called 911 but Terry Sauser died en route to a hospital. Court documents said Revette Sauser held her husband at gunpoint “for a period of time” before she shot him.
Revette Sauser had planned to use insanity and self-defense claims during her trial, but she accepted the plea deal on the day it was to start.
Sauser later filed a postconviction relief application claiming that her attorney was ineffective for allowing her to plead guilty to kidnapping without enough facts to support the charge.
Iowa District Judge Thomas Bitter said the conviction was supported and denied her application. His decision was affirmed by the Iowa Court of Appeals.
In May 2019, the Iowa Supreme Court agreed with Revette Sauser’s argument. Justices wrote a separate kidnapping charge must include confinement beyond the other underlying offenses that would make the crime more “abominable.”
In this case, they said, the amount of time she held her husband at gunpoint prior to the shooting was unclear and did not equate to kidnapping.
They ordered that her postconviction relief application be reconsidered at the district level, and if the kidnapping charge could not be justified, that the original charge be reinstated, which it subsequently was.
Her first-degree-murder trial now is slated for Jan. 4 in Clayton County after a change-of-venue motion was approved. She already has filed notification that she will argue self-defense.